The Globalizing of Democracy Essay

The Globalizing of Democracy            Gould has a unique perspective of democracy, especially as it is compared to what we know as democracy influencing lives around the world today.  Democracy is defined as the free and equal right of every person to participate in a system of government, often practiced by electing representatives of the people by the people.  Jimmy Carter, in a speech to the parliament of India on June 2nd, 1978 said, “Democracy is like the experience of life itself – always changing, infinite in its variety, sometimes turbulent and all the more valuable for having been tested for adversity.”  Gould offers some suggestions concerning the inadequacies of the current democratic view, and how to remedy them as a globalization of democracy.  In the introduction of her work, Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights, she is very clear in defining the need for increasing awareness of the differences in various cultures and how there is a need for “an enlarged conception of democracy taken within a strengthened framework of human rights.”            She focuses on four thoughts: the theoretical basis for the process of extending democracy and human rights, the important issues of extending these basic conceptions to interpersonal contexts beneath and beyond the political and of interpreting them in more diversified ways than is usual, the crucial topic of globalizing democracy and puts the earlier theoretical discussion of democracy and human rights, conceived now in more pluralistic ways, into contemporary applied contexts of decision making in regional, multilateral, and global institutions, and finally, three issues in applied ethics, namely democratic management in firms, democratic networks enhanced by the Net,  the normative understanding of terrorism and appropriate responses to it.  As this relates to a system of government based on the principle of majority decision-making, she argues that many of the would-be decision makers are left out due to societal circumstances beyond their control.            Contemporary politics in America speaks a similar message, but is not so clearly defined.

  Many of the freedoms spoken of by politicians are done so for their benefit, so it is difficult to comprehend motivations behind campaigns for a better democracy.  This particular brand of democracy is the reason we hear, and read about things such as globalization of democracy and similar topics suggesting that what America is currently practicing is a far cry from what was intended by the forefathers of this nation.  The unique complexity of the current political system is sometimes misunderstood by the politicians and law makers, as well as the average man on the street.  It is interesting to consider the ramifications of this confusion in comparison to what birthed this nation over two-hundred years ago.            (A) Simple recognition of the differences and universals between the two democratic visions is hardly enough to bolster support for either one.  (C) Gould emphasizes the need for a genuine commitment to caring for all people regardless of societal positions.  She states on more than one occasion that the current system of democracy lacks integrity concerning care for society and private, personal lives.  (E) The relationship between State and Society should be reinforced by globalizing democracy in the sense of nurturing other peoples of the world.

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  (G) She further emphasizes the need for a new approach to equality.  She feels that the globalization of democracy will enhance focus on human rights, thus making progress towards truly seeing other humans as equal.  This is a noble idea that will take a long time to integrate into American politics.            (A) America’s current political influence is at an all-time low.  With involvement in Iraq being compared to Vietnam, politicians sway back and forth from one opinion as it relates to the war on terror, and the flip-side, less glamorous loss of American lives.

  This is not to mention all the confusion the “war on terror” has caused in the average home in America.  (C)  Democracy should be offered, but not imposed.  When Gould says that Americans in the position to show the benefits of democracy to the world aren’t doing that, she means that politicians sing a good song, but hardly practice what they preach.  To remedy this, there have been suggestions that people should stay in constant contact with their legislators, if for no other reason, to remind them of who put them in office.  (E) With the government trying its best to keep State and Society’s relationship under control by manipulating laws and policies to that affect, it is difficult not to give ear to an alternative that might have a chance of working.

  (G) Even so, the idea of human equality will take a much longer period of time to accomplish than most politicians are in office.  It will have to become a way of life for Americans before we can offer it to a world that is desperate for an answer to the ills that plague us all.            To even consider the globalization of democracy and human rights the people of our nation will have to come to terms with the motivations that drive them to do what they do on any given day.  What is it that causes people to get up in the morning and pursue the day that lies ahead?  Why would they consider a different way of life than what they have known to this point?  Is there something one individual can do to create an atmosphere for motivating a global democracy?  These are samples of the questions that must be answered by people like Gould, and any others that have an alternative to what’s going on in politics today.

ReferencesGould, Carol C(2004).  Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights.  Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK:             CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS. 

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